Espresso Blog

The Pros and Cons of Caffeine Consumption

Millions of us jumpstart our day with coffee. Should we worry about health risks associated with drinking caffeine?
A plethora of studies have examined possible links between caffeine and health issues like cancer, heart disease and osteoporosis, but no evidence has been found to link moderate caffeine intake to health risks.

The latest research confirms that coffee consumption (in moderation) reduces risk of:

  • Colon cancer
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Liver damage
  • Parkinson's disease
  • Gallstones

Coffee has been show to improve:

  • Endurance performance in long-duration physical activities
  • Cognitive...

A Few Tips From A Pro For Opening A Coffee Shop

Nicholas Cho is co-founder of Wrecking Ball Coffee Roasters. He has opened six coffee shops since 2002, in Washington D.C. and San Francisco. In 2014 he dispelled some thoughts that bear repeating, about some of the things you need to consider carefully if you want to consider yourself among those that serve true specialty coffee.

Even if you want to serve good coffee that’s not necessarily on the cutting edge of “specialty” while focusing more on baked goods or great lunch items, Cho’s words can be applied to those passions, too. It’s all about really showing up and knowing your stuff...

Download The Coffee Market 2016 Report

Market Research Reports’ Coffee Market 2016 was just released, with analysis of the current state of coffee, worldwide.

The report includes an industry overview, technical data on coffee processing, a global market overview as well as a breakdown of regional markets such as the U.S., China, Europe, South America, Japan and Africa.

Major coffee brands analyzed include these, and more:

  • Lavazza
  • Melitta
  • Peet’s
  • Pura Vida
  • Reily
  • Starbucks
  • Eight O’ Clock Coffee
  • Tim Horton’s
  • Trader Joe’s

The report includes import/export, supply and consumption figures as well as revenue and gross margins by...

Variations In Pour Over Coffee

Of all the great minds we have to thank for centuries of coffee-technology advancement, a woman named Melitta Bentz of Dresden, Germany, may be near the top of the list. Her paper filter, created in 1908 out of disdain for washing cloth filters and scraping coffee sludge off the bottom of unfiltered coffee pots, resulted in an easy brew with a cleaner cup and a cleaner brewer.

Since the Melitta hit the scene, the array of manual brewers that have migrated—largely from Japan—to the bars of the cafes of the west have given us many a pour-over option.

This overview of the more commonly seen...

How Coffee Processing Affects Flavor

by Jim Sherfey

As much as the best baristas in America can control a cup of coffee when the kettles are steaming and the scales are beeping, the fate of a bean is sealed far earlier, while still in its green state some thousands of miles aways.

A number of factors result in a bean's suggested notes of caramel, stone fruit, pine nut, and sesame. Coffee flavor profiles have to do with genetic cultivarsBourbon, Caturra, Castillo, and Gesha all carry distinct tastes. Elevation, also plays a role. Lower levels of oxygen in the air create a dense, more complex bean. But to tap into...

Cupping Notes: Learn to distinguish between coffee characteristics

Cupping Notes: Fragrances, Acid, Body, Flavor and Finish

As a follow up to our cupping guide, here's a handy guide for distinguishing between coffee characteristics — which, for the novice cupper, can sometimes seem like five ways to say the same thing.

Here are a few more tips for advancing your cupping skills by sorting out dry grounds from wet, and distinguishing aspects of acidity, body, flavor and finish.

Fragrance of dry coffee grounds

Do they smell fresh? Stale? Over roasted? Under roasted? This is a great place to find out, before water is added to the mix.


Sweet   Spicy


A Cupping Guide For New Staff or Customers — and Maybe Even Yourself

It’s a weird word, cupping. Yet all it is is ground coffee and hot water, with no fancy brewing process to affect its flavor. It’s what you’ve got to do to evaluate the characteristics of coffees, to understand their nuances — their basic tastes and defects — and how they compare to other coffees. And it’s something you can share with your customers with weekly or monthly cupping events — perhaps during a slower weekend hour.

Three — or more — coffees is sufficient for a cupping session. Sometimes when you try just one coffee, it can actually be harder to pick out the flavors. But when you...

SCAA's new flavor wheel groups together different flavor attributes of coffee
The SCAA's Coffee Taster’s Flavor Wheel was updated last week. More science went into the updated wheel than you might think. Sensory scientists at Kansas State University created something called the World Coffee Research Sensory Lexicon, a kind of dictionary of the many different attributes of a cup of joe. Each flavor is tied to an actual object so that roasters can describe both a type of flavor and its intensity when they talk coffee. The lexicon was used as the basis of a kind of lingua franca among tasters—a language that lets...

2015: The Year In Coffee Culture

by Liz Clayton

Originally published at

This year, coffee culture went from specialty to mainstream.

The contemporary specialty coffee movement, whatever you wish to call it, has long been entwined with what many people have viewed (and embraced) as groups that are outsider and indie. And while it's true that fancy coffee places haven't really been "for geeks, by geeks" for some time now—and some never were—the shifting sands of this once outlying culture had not, until this year, seen quite such bold steps towards mainstream.

While ardent coffee fans may have already noticed this...

Non-Dairy Milks: Which Ones Are Best With Espresso?

Dairy milk may still rule the latte universe, but a variety of alternatives have been threatening its dominance since soy milk started showing up in cappuccino cups in the ’90s. And with almond and hemp milks — and even macadamia, cashew and coconut — to contend with, baristas can find themselves juggling a variety of steaming techniques as they try not to burn non-dairy milks while getting them hot enough to add to espresso. 

Soy’s Superiority

For vegans and the lactose intolerant, soy milk is still the standby. It’s also the non-dairy choice of baristas because it creates the best foam,...

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